Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peppermints in the Parlor by: Barbara Brooks Wallace

Eleven year-old Emily Luccock is looking forward to living with her aunt and uncle at Sugar Hill Hall. Vivid in her memory is its vast, beautiful parlor, marble fire place, and the white china cups of steaming hot chocolate.

But time changes things, and Sugar Hill Hall is no exception. Sugar Hill Hall is no longer the warm, cheerful mansion Emily once knew. Evil lurks in every corner. A cruel lady named Mrs.Meeching has taken over the place and enslaved Emily's aunt. How can Emily's aunt be a slave in her own home?

And where has Emily's uncle disappeared to?

Mrs.Meeching has turned Sugar Hill Hall into a home for unwanted elderly people. The elderly people are fed moldy bread lumps and fish head stew, while Mrs.Meeching feasts on tarts, fruit, eggs, and anything else she wants. Everyone is under her command. She makes the people unhappy and punishes them for every little thing, like taking a peppermint from the bowl in the parlor. If that isn't bad enough, Mrs.Meeching also has a special room set aside specifically for punishment, called the "Remembrance Room" which is a plain, dark room with a cot and stone walls. Or is there more to that room then meets the eye? Emily, with the help of the delivery boy, Kipper, must discover the secret of Sugar Hill Hall.

Emily is weak and small for her age, but is still forced to do dish washing, floor scrubbing, and room cleaning. Emily is determined that Mrs.Meeching shall not see her cry, but everyone has to cry sometimes, don't they? This is a story filled with courage, true friendship, and suspense.

I could barely put this book down and hope you'll feel that way about this book too. If you enjoy this book you'll probably like the sequel,"The Perils of Peppermints."

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